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Making A Documentary By Chris Schafer
What Is A Documentary? • Nonfiction Film • Report • Discover • Document • Educate
Lesson Objectives • Goals: • Students will develop a critical understanding of the documentary genre by attending various film screenings and by participating in group discussions and projects. • Students will be exposed to the digital video medium and learn how to edit using non-linear video editing software.
Where to get started! • Are you feeling inspired? Try making a concept map in Inspiration. • Storyboarding is an invaluable tool, because it helps you plan your shots (angles, cuts, etc.). • Talk to your family and friends. • Think about what you’re interested in. • Meet with your teacher to discuss possible ideas. • Final project should be at least 15 minutes long, with at least 2 interviews!
Things to consider: • What equipment will you need? • This depends on where you will be filming, so ask yourself what kind of conditions will we be filming under? Will it be sunny? Will it be dark? Will it be windy? • The most difficult aspect of filming is usually capturing decent audio. In documentary filming this is especially important, as you may not be able to re-shoot an interview. • To make your movie appear as professional as possible, avoid the overuse of zoom, and try to use a tripod whenever possible.
Things to consider, continued… • In addition to a digital video camera, you may need to incorporate the use of different types of microphones. • Lavaliere (lapel) microphone • Shotgun microphone • Built in camera microphone
Some additional resources: • If you are unfamiliar with using a digital video camera, or any of the different types of microphones there are 2 things that can help considerably: • Try and find a workshop at your local University or Community College (OSCR) • Spend some time experimenting with the equipment before you begin to shoot your movie.
Once you’ve got your footage… • Import your footage to the computer you will be using to edit your film. At this point you will need to decide what software you will use to edit with. Here are some recommendations: • iMovie (apple) • Windows Movie Maker (pc)
What are your elements? • Will you be using sound and video effects? How? • What kind of music (if any) will you be adding to your movie, and if so, how do you want it to effect your final product? • Remember to keep track of who does what so everyone gets credit for their contributions in the credits! (also, try and spell everyone’s name right)
Things to remember: • In any creative project, there should be at least two different levels of significance. That can be as simple as what your film is about, and what message or meaning do you want it to communicate. • Since this is to be a group effort, it will be important to create a schedule that works for everyone (as much as is possible). • Once you have created a schedule, stick to it!
And remember the most important thing is: Have Fun!!!
Links for additional information: • Video Editing Tutorials • Basic Tips • iMovie tutorial • Windows Movie Maker tutorial • Tips for making a documentary • Camera Tips • Microphone Tips